Katrina Ma

Katrina is a freshman here at UB, majoring in Chemical Engineering. She thinks she may want to go on to work for a food production company, but she will explore her options through internships and further experiences in her coursework.

Katrina Ma is our newest featured writer! Katrina is a freshman here at UB, hailing from Queens, New York. She is majoring in Chemical Engineering and thinks she may want to go on to work for a food production company, but she will explore her options through internships and further experiences in her coursework. She competed on a highly successful robotics team in high school, and she likes playing volleyball with her friends. She is enjoying Buffalo, especially the trees and natural landscape in this area.

Katrina was wise to come in to the CEW near the start of her freshman year. As a STEM student, she thought she could use some extra support in writing. She comes to the CEW an average of twice a week to work on her assignments in English 105 and in her Engineering seminar. She soon discovered that she enjoyed working with CEW consultant James Ponzo. "He gives wonderful explanations," she said, noting that James leads her to understand why certain revisions are recommended. Katrina said that since working with James, she finds herself applying what she's learned, and her writing is definitely improving in the areas of grammar, structure, clarity and flow.

Katrina is a great example of how smart and motivated students use the resources offered at the CEW, and we are glad that she is part of our community.

Saeede Eftekhari

Saeede Eftekhari is a PhD candidate in UB’s Management Science and Systems program. She has particular interests in health care analytics and the economics of health information technologies. Saeede won the People's Choice award at UB's first annual Three Minute Thesis competition this year. 

Q: How do you go about writing projects? How would you describe your writing process in general?
It’s important for me to have “a story-line of my work” before jumping into writing an actual piece. By this I mean that I should have a clear sense of purpose and have an overview of which elements and sections I will need for my paper. Once my main objective and arguments are set, I seek help from my adviser as to how I should structure my paper. My adviser is also very helpful in coming up with catchy titles for each heading/subheading.  

Q: What have you learned from working with consultants at the CEW?
Over the years, I have visited the CEW to work on different writing projects ranging from conference papers and journal articles to dissertation chapters. Working with the consultants really helped me to write more concisely and coherently. I also find it beneficial to talk to a consultant who is outside my field. This compels me to explain my ideas more clearly. And I gain more confidence in my final piece if I succeed in convincing a non-expert of the importance of my research.

Q. Do you have any suggestions and tips for using the CEW more effectively?
From my experience, I would want to make two suggestions for a student writer who intends to use the CEW. My first suggestion is to have a main purpose in mind and bring an outline. This helps to start a productive conversation between the writer and the consultant. Another key to success is just to start writing! And write many drafts. Writing helps you to find out what you are thinking, where there are lacks in your thinking, and helps you to fill up these gaps.